The fall season officially starts next week. And what better region to experience all things autumn than the Pocono Mountains? This is the place to be for fun and foliage views. 

With three color zones and over 127 varieties of trees, shrubs and plants, the Pocono Mountains is famous for its fall foliage. Stunning reds and yellows line the landscape, enhancing outdoor activities for a few weeks each year.

During the fall season, we receive foliage predictions for each of the three color zones from regional foresters. These are updated weekly on our Fall Foliage Forecast page. For an additional foliage resource, we've created a three-part blog series by color zone to help you make the most of this brief, yet beautiful season in the Pocono Mountains.

We’re starting with the southern color zone, which includes Jim Thorpe and Lake Harmony. According to this week's Fall Foliage Forecast, full color is at 5% with 95% of the leaves on the trees. The projected date for peak color is the week of October 24.

That gives us just a few more weekends to enjoy the fall foliage around Jim Thorpe. Find two-day fall itineraries for adventure, leisure, family fun and culture, below. Check out some of these highlighted fall activities in the video below.


ADVENTURE

The Lehigh River Gorge is a top destination for adventure in all seasons, but it’s especially attractive in autumn.

DAY 1:

Play away the day. Opt for extended adventures that pair sightseeing with physical challenges. We suggest:

Pocono Whitewater’s Big Day Out: Pocono Whitewater’s Big Day Out packs three big adventures into one epic outing. Raft, bike and hike your way through bright fall foliage in the Lehigh Gorge. Equipment and meals are provided. This is one fall day you won’t forget. Try it September 22, 2018 or October 6 or 20, 2018.

The Bike Train: Take a scenic train ride up the Lehigh Gorge for 25 miles, and then bike back down at your own pace. Pairing leisure with adventure, this all-day outing is an exhilarating way to see the trees around Jim Thorpe. Events are scheduled September 15, 2018 and November 3-4, 2018.

Relax and refuel. After a full day of fun in the great outdoors, grab a bite to eat at Slopeside Pub & Grill. Enjoy a meal with a window seat view and bask in the fall beauty of the Pocono Mountains.

Rough it. Continue an action-packed day with a stay at a campground. Don Laine Campground, Jim Thorpe Camping Resort and Adventure Campground at Whitewater Challengers offer on-site activities for everyone to enjoy. Spend a night with nature from now until mid-October.

DAY 2:

Battle it out beneath the trees. Play a round at Skirmish Paintball. The 700-acre facility has over 50 playing fields.

Fly through the foliage. See the leaves from high in the sky during a zip line ride with Whitewater Rafting Adventures. Their 900-foot zip line is more than eight stories high!


LEISURE

Take it easy. Try these laid-back ways to celebrate fall in Jim Thorpe.

DAY 1:

Get festive. Jim Thorpe’s famed Fall Foliage Festival are set for October 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21, 2018. Events include live music, food and craft vendors, children’s activities and more fun for all ages.

Do dinner and a show. Head to Penn’s Peak for great food, live entertainment and 50-mile panoramic views. October and November bring big names to the stage. 

Cozy up at a B&B. Jim Thorpe is home to charming bed and breakfasts like The Minnie Victoria Bed & Breakfast, The Gilded Cupid B&B and The Parsonage on Broadway.

DAY 2:

Explore at your own pace. Set out for a slow bike ride on the Switchback Railroad Trail or experience the mountainous region of The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.

Ride the rails. The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway offers 45-minute train rides Wednesday through Sunday in October. View the breathtaking foliage from Jim Thorpe to the Lehigh Gorge.


FAMILY FUN

Play, stay and celebrate amid brilliant fall foliage around the southern region.

DAY 1:

Pick a pumpkin festival. Country Junction’s Great Pocono Pumpkin Festival is a daily, kid-centric celebration featuring dozens of fall activities from September 29, 2018 through October 28, 2018.

Dine, splash and stay. Take the scenic route to Split Rock Resort. Stop in the Lake View Tavern at the resort for some good eats. Be sure to spend some time in the H20Ooohh! Indoor Waterpark.

DAY 2:

Spend a day in Downtown Jim Thorpe. Visit during Fall Foliage Festival weekends (October 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21, 2018) and enjoy music, crafts, children’s activities, ghost walks, great food and shopping around town.

Take a train ride together. Hop aboard a rail car on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway to experience the renowned autumn foliage of the Lehigh Gorge. Scenic train rides provide unique vantage points for leaf peeping.


CULTURE

What better time to visit a historic town than the Halloween season?

DAY 1:

Hit the town. Journey throughout Jim Thorpe with a self-guided walking tour. Step back in time, and enjoy quaint shops and illustrious eateries amongst the foliage. Curb your appetite with great food at historic gems like Molly Maguires Pub & Steakhouse and Broadway Grille & Pub.

Check into a historic home. Spend a night at Times House, Hotel Switzerland or The Inn at Jim Thorpe —all three were built in the 1800s.

DAY 2:

Tour and Explore. Visit mansions, museums and galleries around Jim Thorpe. A background of fall foliage makes these beauties stand out. We suggest: The Asa Packer Mansion, Harry Packer Mansion and the Old Jail Museum

Ride into the mountains. Take a scenic drive to the No. 9 Mine & Museum in Lansford. It’s the world’s oldest continuously operated anthracite coal mine!


Ready for a road trip to southern color zone? Keep an eye on the Pocono Mountains’ Fall Foliage Forecast to see when the leaves will reach their peak!

Find ideas for a day trip and fall fun! Browse fall festivals and fall activities and check out 25 ways to view fall foliage for more fun ways to see the leaves change colors.

Love our fall foliage? Vote for the Pocono Mountains as America’s best! Click here to vote for us in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice 2018 category of “Best Destination for Fall Foliage” until October 2, 2018.

Check back next week for a list of things to do in the Pocono Mountains' central color zone!